A consortium led by the British Council has been awarded €3.8 million of EU pre-accession funding to implement the ‘Judicial Efficiency’ project in Serbia. The project comes at a critical time for the country and its judicial system, with a crucial chapter in the EU accession negotiation process (Chapter 23 on the judiciary and fundamental rights) expected to take place soon. A well-functioning judicial system is an essential pre-requisite for countries aspiring to EU membership.
The British Council’s partners within this consortium are the UK Ministry of Justice, Alternative Consulting, DMI Associates, 4 Digits Consulting and Institut Mihajlo Pupin. Over the next two years, we will be using our expertise to increase the overall efficiency and transparency of Serbia’s judicial and human rights protection systems through a series of measures covering accountability, impartiality and competence of those working in the field of justice.
As a consortium, we will also be working with Serbia’s High Judicial Council, Supreme Court of Cassation, Ministry of Justice, State Prosecutorial Council, Judicial Academy and Public Prosecutor's Office to tackle key areas within the Serbian judicial system. These include the handling of case backlogs, the harmonisation of jurisprudence, working processes in courts and public prosecutor’s offices, performance management systems, transparency within the judicial system and its communication with the public, as well as human resource management.
Through a series of measures targeting a network of courts and public prosecutor’s offices, we hope that the project will produce the following results:
- Case weighting methodology introduced and applied in 20 courts;
- Backlog reduction programme applied in 30 courts;
- Administrative streamlining conducted in 40 courts and public prosecutor’s offices;
- Standardisation of 30 basic and appellate courts website presentation;
- System for measuring the efficiency of judicial bodies improved;
- Uniform case weighting methodologies developed and introduced; and
- Professional staff competencies enhanced.